Before we tore off the old porch on our house, I would bring the last few harvest items from my yard and leave them there in the cool evening shadows of the porch. The last apples from the tree were now handy for a quick apple pie. Carrots, crusty with dirt, could be scrubbed up and steamed to savor like fresh picked jewels, for at least a month after the garden had been closed down.
This last fall I brought the few remaining beets from the garden, into our new, smaller porch, just as all the leaves were about to let go of their hold on the trees. A stow away oak leaf made his way in with the purple nuggets, so I included him in the photo I just had to snap, since their color was so regal.
The small basket of gems got kicked aside as people hustled in and out with all the last minute chores of readying the yard for it’s long winter’s sleep. It was months before I noticed them tucked back there in the corner behind my old muddy work boots, a couple lawn chairs, and the kid’s play ball that never made it back into the garage. They were shriveled and had gotten a bit tough.
I was immediately reminded of the apple head dolls that my younger sister and I made when we were younger. We made old lady apple head dolls, apple head farmers, even apple head clowns. Then we sold them to friends and at the local flea market. It was my first experience of selling something I made. It was I’m sure the impetus for my Aunt giving some of the clay she made ceramics with, to my sister and I. Clay was much more awkward to work with, oozing through fingers, and squishing when you least wanted it to. Over time, and with much practice, it became much easier to make the clay do what I wanted it to, and eventually I started making the figures that can now be seen on my website.
I still make old ladies, farmers and clowns, but I also make a whole host of other characters, whom I then construct wire and wood bodies for to then costume.
The article on Apple Head Dolls that I’ve linked shows how the doll creator also assembled bodies for the apple head dolls to costume and pose.
I dragged the photo I snapped of those beets out of an old photo album and did the acrylic painting that I’m posting. I Beet-leaf I’ve made a good representation of them.